Question: I’m a 28-year-old interested in receiving a collagen treatment for my lips. How would we decide on whether to use human or bovine injectables?
Answer: In general, there has been a large explosion of injectable treatments for the face and the lips. My general order of choosing tissues for any surgery is to try where possible to use the patient’s own tissue. In terms of the lips, some people would use fat grafting. If the patient’s own tissue is not available or if the other tissue gives a better and more long lasting result or more predictable result than natural tissue, then it is best to switch to a tissue which is derived from natural compounds, that is not immunologic which means that the tissue will not cause any allergic reaction in the patients. This second group is really the largest group of patients for which the injectable fillers have developed. Injectable fillers now have been developed from non-immunologic compounds which can be injected with very little problems. My last choice involves synthetic or permanent grafting materials. These may dislodge or become infected and are permanent. In general, it may make sense to use non-permanent injectables since if you are not happy with the result it can always be changed.